maggie and milly and molly and may

maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach(to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles,and

milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and

may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose(like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea

— e.e. cummings

Morning wins and losses

So, I am not recently very good at mornings. This is bad, because I get up at 5:15 and am in the car by 5:45 if my morning is going correctly.

This morning, I got up a few minutes early – very sleepy, but resigned to get my act together. I remembered to take my meds and my vitamins. I remembered to wear socks that match. I remembered to put on my minimal makeup. (I am trying to remember to wear at least BB cream, eyeliner, mascara, and blush – not so much out of societal pressure but because I like how it looks. My work is 100% okay with women not wearing makeup.) I have on a cute scarf and cute hair sticks that match my peach cardigan. I remembered all the parts of my lunch.

Got to work a few minutes early, got my (tiny) coffee. Things are going pretty good, right?

Then I realize I am here with zero jewelry on at all.


I guess if that’s the worst thing that happens today, I’m doing pretty good, but I’m still annoyed. I was doing so well!

Goals for 2015

This year, I will drink more tea. I will read more books. I will let the cat snuggle in my lap, even when I am wearing black pants. I will do more yoga, walk more, hug more people and more trees and more cats, and breathe deeper and slower and better. I will spend more time in the sun, and more time watching it rain.

I will remember that I am a bunny, and a bunny is all I need to be.

Pants 3: Anna 0

So let me preface this by saying that I have been unemployed since September, and as such Laundry Duties are usually mine.

The scene this morning, around 8am:

SSH: “I have no pants.”
Me: “No pants? But I did laundry last Tuesday.”
SSH: “All my pants are in the hamper.” <points to empty closet rack, containing only empty hangers and no pants>
Me: “How did you wear every pair of pants you own since last Tuesday?!”

Turns out his usual work jeans had escaped behind the hamper, and I’d not washed them with the rest of the clothing. So he went off to work in his least-rumpled pair of Khakis (Downy Wrinkle Releaser is a WONDERFUL MAGICAL THING).

Pants 1

I set out to do the rest of the laundry. Separated, etc. Set the first load – which was mostly pants (both his and mine) – in the washer, went to turn it on… and I was out of laundry soap.

Pants 2

So I found some more laundry soap under the sink (Thank Whatever for Target having the soap we use on clearance a few months back so I bought an extra bottle). Did the wash, etc. Wash machine beeps loudly, I transfer the soggy pants into the dryer and turn it on.

At which point I find myself standing in a cloud of flying fuzz.

Let me explain. Yesterday was Anti-Bugs-In-House day, whereby we put down more borax in the attic and baseboards and stuff, and SSH put spray foam (aka: Great Stuff) in any holes in the brick and whatever. Apparently this included the dryer vent, and thus required that the dryer hose be disconnected. I, not noticing this, turned on the dryer. The hose, disconnected, blew dryer lint all over my kitchen.

Pants 3.

I’m glad I wore a frigging skirt.

(Oh, and no. There are STILL no clean pants. I will update if the pants score more points.)

Go Fly a Kite

It’s funny the little things that remind you of other things.

Right now my neighbor and his three kids are in our cul-de-sac, running around with an octopus kite. The sound of giggling and flip-flops is wafting in through my front windows, making me smile.

And making me remember going to the beach as a kid.

My dad loves kites. For as long as I can remember, there’s been a kite or two in the garage – sometimes even crazy cool box kites or stunt kites that look like stealth airplanes. On windy days he’d schlep my brother and I out to fields behind schools and office buildings, and we’d try to fly them, but it doesn’t often get windy enough in the hills of central New Jersey to pull off flying a kite like that for very long.

The beach, however, is another story.

Every trip to the beach involved a kite of some kind – big or small. I think the current kite is a big long spiral, black with bright jewel toned panels, that flies easily in a breezy beach wind. Setting up the kite was as much a part of going to the beach as setting up the chairs or putting on sunscreen or finding the appropriate sand-castle-building tools (that’s another blog post, for another day).

Because, you see, kites on the beach are more than just fun.

They’re identification.

I can remember being told “and if you can’t find us, go to one of the lifeguards – they’re the people on the big red towers – and tell them you’re lost, and that your dad has a big blue and yellow box kite”. And a well flown kite on the beach can be seen for quite a long way. So we’d run like idiots until we got the kite up high enough to catch the sea winds, and then tie it to … something. A chair, a beach pavillion, a really big rock. Basically anything that would hold it.

Sometimes “can hold the kite” is a bit of a gamble. I’ve seen kites drag beach chairs, unwind themselves from tent stakes, and otherwise randomly wreak havoc.

I’ve also seen kites mysteriously untie themselves and make a break for it, tearing down the beach at full speed in a quest for freedom.

This results in having to chase down the kite – on one occasion, with my brother running full tilt down the beach, waving his arms and yelling “NO, KITE! COME BACK!” We always did manage to find them though. Or at least, I don’t remember ever truly losing one. I can remember a few /broken/ ones… but that’s not quite the same.

Still, I can’t think of kites without thinking of those memories, of beach vacations and running down hills and hanging out with my family. I count myself pretty lucky. (And I hope, someday, the kids running around in the cul-de-sac with the big, pink, octopus kite will have their own fun memories.)

Anyway, that’s my storytelling moment for the day.

You can go back to your Saturday now.


(Inspired by a twitter conversation with Temerity Jane, Awlbiste, and Naithin)

I make no secret of my love of animals. Dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, even fish and reptiles (and amphibians!) are worthy of admiration from me. Yes, I’m the weirdo that feeds the garden toads, chases the cats away from the geckos that get in the house so I can catch them and put them outside, won’t step on spiders (and, in fact, will feed the big outside garden spiders), and chirps at the tree frogs in the yard.

I also am currently the caretaker of two (mostly) fabulous felines. Max and Charlie are a great deal of fun, and rarely a day goes by that I don’t at least smile, if not laugh at one or both of them being … well, cats. They love string. They love playing Kitty-WWF on my bed and then tearing after each other through the house like tiny furry rockets. They love playing chicken with my laptop.

Unfortunately, this time of year is rife with people doing horrible things to animals – particularly cats, especially black cats.

I get that not everyone is a cat fan (preferences, we has them), which is totally fine. Being annoyed with a cat is… well, part of living with cats, and when they do annoying things, generally it seems that the appropriate response is to shut the door, ignore them, go somewhere else, dump them off your lap, etc. Or possibly to engage in some corporal cuddling, whereby you are as annoying to the cat as it is to you.

Being annoyed with an animal does not equal maiming, mutilating, or otherwise doing horrible things to it – as TJ was noting had been happening in the news where she lives in Arizona, and which has recently been on the news from Florida. It doesn’t mean torturing an animal that is essentially helpless. (I’d rather not go into any more specifics, simply to avoid getting internet hits from creepy fuckers who want to do that kind of thing, but I’m sure a little Google-Fu will find you everything you never wanted to see, and more)

Reading about it, hearing about it… honestly makes me a little sick.

I look at Max, who was obviously someone’s pet that ended up out on his own for several months (whether through ill will or escape tactics, nobody knows), starving outside until he got picked up, and realize he was lucky. And that to live with us, he’s /really/ lucky. When we got him, he barely weighed 7 lbs and his fur was scrawny and thin.  Now he weighs 14lbs and is considered healthy – if a bit chubby – by the vet, with a gorgeous cream coat with pumpkin points.

I look at Charlie, who has taken the better part of two years to get over his fear of my husband and of anyone’s shoes and of loud noises, and see that he’s warmed up into a happy and sociable cat. And I realize he was less lucky than Max, but that he still has a happy ending that includes gooshyfood and feathers-on-a-string and a screen porch to watch birds from.

So if there’s a critter in your life that you love (or maybe just tolerate most of the time), give him/her/it a pat from me today.

I don’t know what any of us can do to keep horrible people from doing horrible things, so I settle for doing the best I can for the two I signed up to care for.

Obligatory note that if you are looking for a pet, rescue organizations that you can find through are a great place to look (whether you want a young animal or an adult, and whether you want the standard cat or dog, or something a little less common).

Particularly if you are interested in a cat or kitten, adopting a black cat is often less expensive because of the superstitions commonly associated with them; you may not be able to adopt a black cat or kitten in the months of October/November, however, due to people doing horrible things to them and ending up on the news.